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Your Obsession With Cleanliness Doesn’t Mean You Have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Your Obsession With Cleanliness Doesn’t Mean You Have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Tilted picture frames bother you. After cooking, you can’t stand the thought of going to bed with a dirty kitchen. The way that things are organized in your home are the way they have to be. If someone threatens your sense of order, organization, and cleanliness, you become agitated or uncomfortable. Sorry, you might tell them, I’m so OCD.

You’re falsely referencing a real mental health disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder. There are people who have a compulsive need to be clean and have things in their life be as orderly as possible. Obsessive compulsive personality disorder is a better fit for such individuals. While it is true that living with obsessive compulsive disorder can mean needing cleanliness or repetition, the rest of the experience is extremely different. People living with obsessive compulsive personality disorder realize their character and are okay with their need to be clean. On the other hand, people living with obsessive compulsive disorder are struggling with often debilitating experiences of anxiety, intrusive and disturbing thoughts, as well as a deep desire to make compulsive behaviors stop.

Mistakenly, people commonly believe that the demonstration of OCD is exclusively in behaviors regarding cleanliness. A variety of behaviors can manifest as compulsions of the obsessive thoughts in OCD. Some people living with OCD may not experience an obsessive compulsion for cleanliness at all. Instead, they may experience:

  • Checking behaviors
  • Collecting behaviors
  • Ritualized behaviors
  • Repetition behaviors
  • Reassurance/validation behaviors

Obsessive compulsive disorder can co-occur with substance use disorders, which can lead to complex demonstrations of symptoms. Professionals who live with co-occurring substance use and obsessive compulsive disorders are often using out of a compulsive need to relax the anxiety they are experiencing as a result of their OCD. Treating both conditions concurrently is critical for a professional’s full recovery and smooth transition back into the workforce. Without dual diagnosis care, only part of the problem is solved.

The Center for Professional Recovery offers the Professional Treatment Program, designed specifically to address the unique needs of professionals, like first-responders. Our programs are designed to treat co-occurring disorders which might arise and restore first-responders in a way which allows them to return to work and continue taking care of their mental health. For information on our full continuum of care for professionals, call us today: (855) 422-4129

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